Change in road safety priorities

The needs of vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people must become a priority in local planning processes if the level of road deaths and serious injuries is to be addressed, according to a new strategy.

RoSPA has published Safe and active at all ages: a national strategy to prevent serious accidental injuries in England. Among its recommendations on road safety, the document calls for particular attention to be paid to lower speeds in built-up areas, and the promotion of active travel as a positive option.

It also calls for pedestrian training for children at key stages one and two, the collection of work-related road accident statistics and help for employers to manage occupational road risk, the promotion of self-assessment tools to enable older drivers to stay on the road safely for longer, and action on young driver safety.

The strategy, which has been developed by a wide range of partners including Public Health England and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, seeks to address the rising number of accidental deaths in England and the heavy toll these place on the health and social care services, as well as the personal heartache that serious unintentional injury can cause.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s chief executive, said, ‘Other areas of accident prevention have much to learn from road safety, which has had nationally-led strategic approaches to injury reduction. In recent years, however, the decline in road deaths and injuries that we saw over previous decades has stagnated, meaning we need to also take new and more effective approaches to accident prevention on the roads.’